FIIRO Acting DG’s Ph.D Controversy: ICPC makes Clarification

In the past few weeks, the alleged certificate scandal involving the Acting Director-General of the Federal Institute for Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi , Mr. Chima Igwe, has been entangled in a lot of controversy.  To clear the air and fulfil its pledge to make public its findings on the matter, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) hereby places on public record the outcome of its further investigations. 

The Commission re-opened investigations into the status of Mr. Igwe’s pursuit of a PhD degree on the 3rd of  December, 2019 upon the  discovery of certain gaps, occasioned by ambiguity in the letters from University D’Abomey Calavi, Republic of Benin, language differences and translation of documents, in the earlier investigation.

In the course of its further investigation, the ambiguity and confusing language translation issue again reared its head when the institution, in its letter to the Nigerian Mission in Benin dated 22nd January 2020, which stated as translated that ‘…Mr. Chima Carthney Igwe has completed his three-year doctoral programme”, yet the same correspondence further stated that Mr. Igwe had not publicly defended his doctoral thesis and the institution was giving him a chance, at his request, to re-register and update his research results in the current 2019-2020 academic year. It stands to reason therefore that if the PhD programme was concluded there would have been no need to request re-registration by Mr. Igwe.

Although it was confirmed that Mr. Igwe did the required three years for the  programme from 1999 to 2002 and wrote a thesis, the Commission is firmly of the opinion that he cannot be said to have been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree since he is yet to complete the process of defence of his thesis in the 18 years after he is said to have finished the course work.  By global standards, the successful defence of a thesis is a compulsory condition for the award of a PhD. 

Therefore, in line with its avowed commitment to discharging its duties with professionalism and responsibility the Commission has since communicated its most recent findings and position to the relevant authorities for necessary action.